Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman has halted a key element in a controversial system used to flag problem officers, reports the Rocky Mountain News. Data still arel being entered into the Early Identification and Intervention System, but the program no longer automatically triggers official reviews of officer conduct. “There are no thresholds,” Whitman said. Denver’s new civilian police monitor says he hopes to resurrect some of the triggers next year. “It is very important for a department this size to have some sort of early-intervention system,” said Richard Rosenthal.
Questions were raised about the system after last week’s announcement that Mayor John Hickenlooper had hired outside experts to revamp the department, which has been beset by rising crime, falling arrest rates, and sinking morale. Some say the early-intervention effort is the source of much of the disgruntlement among the rank and file that some say has hampered the department’s crime-fighting effectiveness. The system was created in 2003 in response to a series of controversial police shootings. Department commanders were seeking ways to swiftly identify potential problem officers. The intervention system has been a point of contention for some time. It was a major focus of officer complaints after reports in August that Denver police had sharply reduced enforcement of crimes in more than a dozen categories.